Meet Some Bridge Hall of Famers

Meet Some Bridge Hall of Famers

By Alex J. Coyne

There are many bridge players of note who have reached great heights and accomplishments outside the world of cards. Certainly Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Omar Sharif would make the list, all highly successful bridge players – and there are plenty more. Here’s a closer look at some ACBL Hall of Fame members and their achievements outside of bridge.

Russ Arnold

Inducted in 2011. Russell D. Arnold was born in Winnipeg in 1921, though spent a great deal of his life in Miami, Florida. In his lifetime he was the recipient of nine NABC wins and was a successful entrepreneur (and accountant) who ran a leading appliance company. He played a damn good game of bridge, too.

He passed away in 2012. Here’s a touching obituary from the Lakeside Memorial Park & Funeral Home celebrating his life.

Steve Robinson

Inducted in 2003. Steve Robinson hails from Arlington, VA and was born in 1941. Today, he has 24 NABC titles and 3 world championships behind his name – and his ACBL Hall of Fame biography calls him the “first living player to be elected to the ACBL Hall of Fame from District 6 (which includes Washington, Virginia and most of Maryland).”

Outside of bridge he was also a writer (Washington Standard) and a coder for the Pentagon until ‘65, although he continued lending his talents as a programming professional until 1996 according to his biography.

Jill Meyers

Inducted in 2014. Jill J. Meyers is one of the most prominent women in bridge. Her ACBL biography lists seven world championships – a record for women’s bridge and a highly impressive feat for any player.

In addition to her flair at the bridge table, she’s also been responsible for the music and rights clearance for more movies and TV shows than we can name here. She also happens to have a law degree.

Some of her credits are: True Detective, Ted and Ted 2, 1408, Good Will Hunting, Forrest Gump, Chappie, Elysium, Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare and more. Here’s her IMDb page if you’d like your mind truly blown.

Sidney Lazard

Inducted in 2000. Sidney was born in 1930 as Sidney Harold Lazard, and spent most of his life as a prominent oil and gas producer as well as businessman and bridge player. Among many other wins, he was a WBF World Life Master in addition to being part of the ACBL Hall of Fame, and he created the Sidney H. Lazard Jr. Sportsmanship Award in honor of his son.

Richard Freeman

Inducted in 2001. Richard Freeman was born in 1933, and in 1952 he became the youngest ACBL Life Master at the time.

His accomplishments in the bridge world includes 22 NABC wins, three Bermuda Bowl wins, serving as the editor of Modern Bridge Magazine and being one of the founding members of the Nick Nickell team.

Outside of bridge, he was a participant of the TV show Quiz Kids back in 1942. The show ran from 1940 to 1956 and chose contestants under 16 for their exceptional IQ and general knowledge.

Speaking of IQ, his online biographies note that he had already reached the third year of studies at the University of Chicago at the age of 13.

He passed away in 2009 with 17, 880 Masterpoints to his name.

George Rosenkranz

Inducted in 2000. George Rosenkranz was born in 1916, and his chosen field outside of bridge was chemistry and science. A notable chemist, he was one of the key members of the team who invented the original birth control medication – a synthesized version of the hormone progesterone – together with Carl Djerassi and Luis E. Miramontes.

He passed away in June 2019 in Atherton, CA with more than 13, 000 Masterpoints to his name – and plenty of memories and bridge hands left behind.

His obituary can be seen at the Washington Post.